Fullness in Christ.

I write to remind you to stop keeping score.

You are living under the code of grace and grace alone. This performance-driven, you-earn-it, you-deserve-it record you’re keeping has been obliterated. You no longer function in a framework where you get what you deserve. What you did or didn’t do today has no effect on how God sees you.

Maybe you don’t even know you’re doing this.

I didn’t–until I recently recognized symptoms of this fallacy were manifested in my own self-judgment. I had made a mistake and concluded that I deserved a negative outcome.  I caught myself assessing whether God’s grace would intervene based on my performance.

I did deserve bad–before the old order of just deserts was turned on its head when the fullness of Christ became available to us:

In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.  And we have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

When God made us alive with Christ, He canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us.

The powers and authorities against us have been disarmed.

But it’s not because of something we did or didn’t do.

Analyzing the  legal effect of canceling this written code that was against us speaks volumes about deficiencies in my faith:

Let God be God. By canceling, instead of merely satisfying, our debt, God remained in control. God did not bend or conform to the terms of the outstanding “note.” He obliterated the note altogether. When I judge myself, I am playing God. What gives me the authority or qualification to judge myself? Nothing.

Nothing was “lost” on our end.  While the sacrifice was the life of the Son of God–the ultimate atonement–no deficiencies resulted in our position because there was no transfer of assets from us to satisfy the debt against us. We traded nothing (nor could we) to earn the fullness of Christ. It’s the epitome of grace: the giver gains no advantage in exchange for the benefit given. Under some tax principles, a cancellation of debt can be considered income to the recipient. To be alive in Christ is nothing but profit to us because we contributed nothing to it.

There is no baggage. The payments on my debt that were delinquent become irrelevant.  The record over the course of my life showing what payments I did or did not make is moot.

You work so hard to tell others about God’s grace, but you’re failing to extend that same grace to yourself.

I’m exhausted from my own self-judgment.

We don’t get to keep score while also claiming the fullness of Christ.

I pray you remember that God lovingly looks at you and sees the fullness of Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,  and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.  In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”  Colossians 9:2-15 (NIV).

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV).

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV).

p-cup

Hello from a favorite mug of mine. Favorite because it’s considerably spacious.  Because it houses the lifeblood of my day. Because it has a subtle P on it for Paige. Because my crafty friend made it for me.

Find yourself a crafty friend.

Unfortunately, while I try hard, I’m not that friend. I once tried to recreate a derivative of this mug and it looked like a blob. I still gave it as a gift because, you know, I enjoy being memorable.

Much love to you,

Paige

 

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